Gupt Ganga Temple : A calm and serene ghat near Bhaderwah
To the east of the town on the bank of river Neru at a distance of 0.5 km, is the old Shiv temple, made of purely stone slabs. It has a tomb like construction and long stone slabs have been used in it. Here Ganga abruptly falls on the Lingam and then disappears. Inside the temple, there is a footprint of Bhimsen on a rock. There is a long cave said to have been used by the Pandavas to reach Kashmir from Bhadarwah during the period of their Agyat-Vaas.
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This is an ancient and greatly revered Shiv Temple situated on the bank of Neru river near the first bridge on Bhadarwah Jai Road. This is famous historical pilgrim place. The domb of the temple is made of Stones in a circular shape. A stream of pure water flows from inside of the temple and drops on the ShivLing day and night. The whole sight is so attractive that visitors desire to go on seeing it again and again . the inside water then flows to a “Bawali” (Pond) where Sadhus, devotees and visitors take bath. The water of the Bawali is cold in summer and warm in winter. Since the stream of water comes into the temple in a hidden mysterious way, and the water of this stream is considered as sacred as the water of the Ganga, so it is called Gupt Ganga.
The ShivLinga of this temple was brought from outsink. The Shiv Zilehri is of huge size & made of black marble after a great deal of hard work and by using the local material for smoothing its surface locally.
There is a tunnel adjoining to the temple and there is no definite record of its depth. Near about sixty years back I along with my friends went inside the tunnel in the light of torch, when we covered some distance, we felt great difficulty in breathing and got greatly frightened and returned back.
It is generally said that Pandus during their exile took shelter in Bhadarkashi, one day they disappeared suddenly and it is said that they disappeared through this tunnel to some unknown place because that was the day when their Agyatvas (living in hidden position) started. This tunnel has been closed now. In the North West of this Shiv temple there is a splendid building on a rock . It is in the shape of a room, but there are three doors on each wall of the building . That is why this building is called “Barahdari”.
There is another temple of Baba Ganga Dassji in the North West on the side of Bhadarwah Chinta road. A splendid statue of Baba is installed in it. There is another temple in the North West. There is big splendid gardenbesides these temple, which adds the beauty of this place the tradition of this pilgrim place is that the Sadhus of this temple beg food items and fodder for cows once in a year from the town of bhadarwah and adjoining villages. Though the “Langer” for Sadhus runs through out the year.
There is a cremation Ghat near the temple on the bank of Neeru and people after death perform the rituals as they do on Ganga Ghat . So Gupt Ganga is considered as sacred as Ganga Mata.